Monday, January 20, 2014

Pocket Carry Kit

Well, I finally got a new computer, and can make videos again. I figured that I would test it out by making a short video about the kit which I carry on me when I go into the woods. It’s not really a survival kit or a possibles pouch, so i just call it my pocket carry kit.

This particular set up came bout after many years of playing around with different configurations. I am sure it will change in the future, but for a while not this kit has been working well for me.

The further back in time you go, the more kit you would have seen me carry on my body. I used to have a belt with a canteen and cup, a belt knife, and a good size pouch with emergency and daily use gear. Unfortunately, the kit was too big, and was getting in the way too much. It was good in theory, but in reality it was a nuisance. So, gradually I reduced the number of items I carry, and brought it down to the set up you see in the video, which fits in my pockets.


The knife is kept in my right pocket. It is a Mora #2 custom clone by Mark Hill. You can see more details about it here. The knife weighs 5.0 oz, and I keep it in a sheath that I got from another knife and modified. The sheath weighs 1.7 oz.

In my left pocket I have the actual kit. It is contained in a small pouch, and weighs a total of 4.7 oz.


In the kit I have a mini BIC lighter. It weighs 0.2 oz. It is my main fire lighting tool. I know it is not very “bushcrafty”, but it works, and I like things that work. In well over a decade now of going in the woods, it has never failed me. There are some misconceptions about lighters, which keep many people from using them, but they are not actually true. Some people think that lighters leak out fuel at high elevation, or that they “fail” in cold weather. Truth is, there has been extensive testing done by manufacturers, and lighters do not leak at high elevation unless you press the button. They also work fine in cold weather. The problem is that when the temperature is low, the butane in the lighter doe snot gasify. If you try to use a cold lighter like that, it will “fail”. The solution is a simple one. Just hold it in your hand for several seconds. That will warm it up enough for it to work. Lighters will not work when wet. That is simply because the spark gets cooled down by the evaporating water. To get it to work, just shake the water out. I have found that it takes between 30 and 60 seconds to dry it out by shaking and blowing on it. If you are in a hurry, removing the metal guard will speed up the process.

In the kit I also carry a Fenix E01 flashlight. It weighs 0.4 oz including the AAA battery. The flashlight cost only $10, but it packs some pretty advanced technology. It doesn’t simply feed electricity from the battery to the bulb. It uses a microchip to interrupt the light, but it does it at a rate which our eye can not detect. To us it appears as a solid beam of light, but the beam actually pulsates. This allows the flashlight to put out 10 lumens and do it continuously for 21 hours on a single AAA battery. You can see some more details about it here. I’ve used this flashlight to make my way out of the forest at night. It is not the ideal choice for the task, but for such a small package, it is an amazing tool.

On the pouch itself, I have a small button compass. I have tied it onto the lanyard which clips onto my belt loop. That way it is always visible so that I can quickly check my general direction of travel.

The rest of the kit is divided into tree Altoids Smalls tins.

The first one in the picture is my repair kit. It weighs a total of 0.6 oz. Other than a small multi tool and some rope which I carry in my backpack, this is my whole repair kit. I do not carry a duplicate in my pack. The kit contains a good amount of artificial sinew. It is a very strong material, and I’ve used it for everything from repairing my pack to making a shelter. I also have a small roll of dental floss, which is also strong, and can double as fishing line. In the box also contains some duct tape and a few pieces of Tenacious Tape. Tenacious Tape is a product that was recommended by a friend and appears to be very strong. I’ve seen a punctured inflatable pad being repaired with this tape. On the bottom of the kit I have some needles and fishing hooks.

The second tin contains my fire lighting kit. It weighs 0.5 oz. Together with the lighter, and a second such lighter which I keep in my cooking kit, these are all of the fire lighting devices I carry. All I have in the tin is some waterproof matches and a striker wrapped in a small plastic bag, and some waxed jute twine tinder. You’ve probably noticed that I do not carry a ferro rod. I used to carry one, but I just had no use for it. The lighter is a much more efficient fire starting tool, and wich the waterproof matches as a back up, in over a decade, there never came a time when I actually needed to use a ferro rod. In fact, I have never even had to use the matches yet. Ferro rods are fun to use, but if I was going to start a fire with sparks just for fun, I just bring along my flint and steel kit.

The last tin contains some pills in a small plastic bag, and chlorine dioxide water purification tablets. The pills in the tin are the only ones I carry. While I have some other first aid items in my backpack, I do not carry extra pills. The water purification tablets are just a back up, although I have had to use them several times. They also cone in handy during winter when I can not carry my filter, and do not have enough fuel to boil all of my water. The tin weight 0.5 oz.

I have a few other items, such as my watch, and a bandana, but that’s about it. This is not a survival kit, and it not intended to let you live off of it in the woods. These are simply the items I use most often, so I keep them in an easily accessible place. The items are also loosely packed, so that I can take them out, use them, and put them back without worrying about arranging everything in the right order.

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